"Johnny Tremain" by Esther Forbes: Essay on the theme.

Essay by Darth-RevanJunior High, 8th gradeA+, October 2006

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

"In peace sons bury their fathers, in wars fathers bury their sons." This is an excellent demonstrative quote of the theme in Johnny Tremain. The theme is that in times of war young boys must quickly mature to become confident adults. This theme is proven many times in our world as well as in this book. The main character Johnny Tremain must quickly mature for the times that are near. Johnny's friend, Rab also must quickly mature so he can fight for what he believes in. Like the Rab and Johnny, young boys had to quickly mature so they can fight for their country during World War II.

When Johnny Tremain begins, the central character is a fourteen-year-old boy. The novel ends less than two years later, and Johnny Tremain is a sixteen-year-old man. His rapid development is largely a function of the extreme political atmosphere of his time.

As a messenger and spy for the colonial rebel leaders, Johnny is thrust into life-and-death situations. To protect himself and those he works for, he must abandon many of the childish ways of his past. Working as a small-time spy, he is forced to develop into a trustworthy, patient young man, since he might have to listen carefully to hours of conversation just to pick up a small piece of information. He must also learn to control his quick temper and violence to survive during the confusing and dangerous Revolutionary period. Most dramatically, Johnny is forced to focus on something larger than his own individual concerns. Because of the war, Johnny must fight and die for the independence of his fellow colonists, and he turns his enthusiasm and passion outward. He leaves behind his immature selfishness and becomes a persistent, patriotic man, eager to fight and die for his...